EWA Reporting Fellowship
Just outside Concord High School, a delivery truck has spilled its chemical supplies. The students’ mission: Investigate the properties of the spill and develop a detailed plan to clean it up safely.
Teenagers wearing safety goggles squat down, sucking up samples of the clear liquid with pipettes. The simulated spill has been “contained” in a fish tank. But the students play along, first by developing some “testable questions” with their partners: How acidic is it? How does it compare with the properties of each substance on the truck?
There’s an essential skill not being taught enough in classrooms today, say a growing number of American educators. That skill is thinking.
“Most teachers never really ask students to think very deeply…. Most of what is assigned and tested are things we ask students to memorize,” writes Karin Hess, president of Educational Research in Action in Underhill, Vt., and an expert on assessment, in an email to the Monitor.
EWA Invites Applications for Next Round of Reporting Fellowships
Awards of up to $8,000 will support enterprising news coverage
The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce a call for proposals for its next class of EWA Reporting Fellows. The fellowships provide financial awards to journalists to undertake ambitious reporting and writing projects. This will be the fourth class of EWA Reporting Fellows.
What is the EWA Reporting Fellowship?
The EWA Reporting Fellowship provides financial awards to education journalists to undertake special reporting and writing projects.
How many fellowships will be awarded?
EWA expects to award approximately six fellowships in this round of the program.
How much money comes with the fellowship?
EWA will provide awards of up to $8,000 apiece to winning proposals.
Please complete the following contact form. You will receive the application questions and instructions by email.
On a chilly winter morning in a tiny pocket of Silicon Valley known as North Fair Oaks, Everest Public High School is buzzing with energy. Out front, a tall, skinny teen jumps out of a black Porsche SUV; moments later, three young women in matching black hoodies stream out of the front seat of a Toyota pickup that’s filled with trowels, buckets, and a ladder.
With the sound of drills and nail guns in the background, two ninth-grade boys tried to solve a math problem.
“How many 2-by-4, 8-foot planks am I going to have to buy when I go to Home Depot this afternoon?,” asked Jared Lauterbach, the students’ teacher, “and how many 6-foot planks?”
This was supposed to be a banner year for Furr High School. It moved into a brand new building and was using a ten million dollar grant to reinvent high school. Even though Hurricane Harvey delayed the school year by two weeks, things seemed to be back to normal.
Longtime principal Bertie Simmons met with a mom who was trying to get her daughter into Furr.
In a corner of a classroom at Science Leadership Academy Middle School is a bookcase with green shelves and a plaque on top, where several students wrote their names in marker.
Having worked on its design, they claimed the bookcase as their own. Visible around the school are other bookcases, some festooned with polka dots, stripes, handprints, and words, all built by creative 5th graders.
In a corner of a classroom at Science Leadership Academy Middle School is a bookcase with green shelves and a plaque on top, where several students wrote their names in marker. Having worked on its design, they claimed the bookcase as their own. Visible around the school are other bookcases, some festooned with polka dots, stripes, handprints, and words, all built by creative 5th graders. These personalized bookcases are the result of both a gift and a problem.
When the Boston Public Schools opened the Margarita Muñiz Academy in 2012, it was a first-of-its kind dual-language high school meant to address issues faced by the city’s growing Hispanic population. At the time, Hispanic students were both the most likely to drop out of the city’s schools and the least likely to enroll in college when compared to black, white and Asian students. They still are, but as the academy enters its sixth full year, its student outcomes are drawing praise from a variety of sources, even while administrators note that steep challenges remain.
Tymeer Washington held a gold marker above his white mug and considered his identity. After a moment, he drew his name in silver and gold next to a large “24.” “It’s where I’m from,” Washington explained. “24th and Lehigh.”
The 18 students in Danina Garcia’s class at the brand new Vaux Big Picture High School will start each school day with these mugs in their 90-minute advisory period, drinking hot chocolate or tea. It is a chance for students and their adviser, who are expected to stay together for all four years, to bond with each other.
Girls in the Middle East do better than boys in school by a greater margin than almost anywhere else in the world: a case study in motivation, mixed messages, and the condition of boys everywhere.
Journalist Kelly Field recently won a top honor at EWA’s National Seminar for her compelling series, “From the Reservation to College,” on the education of Native American students. Field’s coverage for The Chronicle of Higher Education — supported by an EWA Reporting Fellowship — follows several students from the Blackfeet Indian reservation in Montana. Their experiences highlight the significant educational challenges facing Native communities in the U.S. today.
Furr High School is gearing up to launch a new kind of ninth grade. It’s part of how Furr, which used to have a reputation for drop-outs and gang violence, is trying to transform high school, with the help of a $10 million grant. At one recent workshop, half a dozen ninth grade instructors brainstormed for the new ninth grade, thinking about how to give students more ownership in the curriculum and testing.
Laura Isensee of Houston Public Media discusses Furr High School, which recently received a $10 million grant to help it reinvent what, when, and how students learn. The changes are already underway: a veteran principal was lured out of retirement to take the helm; students are able dig into their own areas of interest during regular periods of “Genius Time”; and even the hiring process for teachers and staff has taken some innovative turns. What’s been the response of the school community to these new developments?
Nationally, politicians and others frequently tout Hartford, Connecticut, and its magnet schools as a model of school integration. But in reality, the city has a system of haves and have nots, as Vanessa de la Torre and Matthew Kauffman, reporters at The Hartford Courant, revealed in their 2017 series, “Hartford Schools: More Separate, Still Unequal.”
When students from the Pathways in Technology Early College High School — or P-TECH in Brooklyn — graduate today with an associate degree as well as their high school diplomas, it will be much more than a formality, according to founding principal Rashid Davis.
“You are at the beginning of — I’m going to call it — an educational revolution,” Davis told some of the soon-to-be graduates at a celebration last week.
The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce its third class of EWA Reporting Fellows, under an initiative aimed at supporting enterprising journalism projects.
The latest round of the EWA Reporting Fellowship is focused on examining U.S. education through a global lens. Prior rounds include college and career readiness and success, as well as high school redesign.
Twenty years ago, public education in Baltimore and this New England capital had much in common.
Tens of thousands of minority students, living in pockets of poverty, attended schools that weren’t preparing them to graduate.
But after a lawsuit, Hartford took a different path. The city and state committed to take apart the system of de facto segregation in its public schools and institute voluntary integration.
They were classmates and best friends, and they both wanted to get into the 11th-grade Advanced Placement English class at Columbia’s Hammond High School.
Since meeting in summer school just before ninth grade, Mikey Peterson and Eli Sauerwalt had been through a lot together. They’d each battled depression, they’d failed classes, they’d encouraged each other to do better.
As 10th-graders in English, the teens were each hoping for a prized recommendation to the AP English class for their junior year.
On the day that the Henderson-Hopkins school opened its doors to let children in, Crystal Jordan marveled at its light-filled rooms, curving stairs and interior play areas.
She couldn’t believe her family’s good fortune. In a city with so many struggling schools, her fifth-grade daughter was entering a new public school backed by some of the city’s most powerful institutions, and driven by a vision in which students of all socioeconomic backgrounds would learn together, and be held to high standards.
Jeff Sanford went to the debate at the high school cafeteria with an open mind.
The boundary lines for 11 schools in the Catonsville area had to be redrawn to relieve overcrowding. But there was a chance to achieve something more, something that could help improve the lives of all children: integration.
Sanford, an African-American father of two boys, had volunteered to represent Johnnycake Elementary on the boundary committee that would recommend changes to the Baltimore County school board.